VOW To Hire Heroes Act - Applications Open May 15, 2012

VOW To Hire Heroes Act - Applications Open May 15, 2012   

Where can I find more information about the recently passed VOW to Hire Heroes Act?

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program for unemployed Veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor (DoL) are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012. The new program will provide retraining for Veterans hardest hit by current economic conditions.

The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) offers 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. To qualify, a Veteran must be:

  • Unemployed
  • At least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Have an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Not in receipt of VA compensation due to Individual Unemployability (IU)
  • Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • Enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school

The program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and to 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certification, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

Visit www.gibill.va.gov/VRAP to learn more and read frequently asked questions about VRAP.  More details about VRAP, including information on how to apply, will be published at www.gibill.va.gov as they become available.

Veterans with a service connected disability may qualify for additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits. Veterans who previously completed a VA vocational rehabilitation program and have used the initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits may qualify for an additional 12 months of VA vocational rehabilitation benefits.

  • You must have previously completed a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program and been considered “rehabilitated” by VA.
  • You must apply within six months of using up your initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. You may still qualify for extended or emergency unemployment benefits.
  • You can apply now, but cannot start any education or training until June 1, 2012 and you must apply to VA by March 31, 2014.

VA may offer incentive payments to encourage employers to hire and train program participants.

  • VA may be able to reimburse an employer up to one-half your annual salary for 6 months or longer
  • This can provide you with a competitive advantage with employers
  • You must apply and qualify for VA vocational rehabilitation benefits prior to being hired

To apply or learn more information about vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits please call 1.800.827.1000, visit the www.va.gov and fill out an online application (VONAPP), or complete VA Form 28-1900, Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation and submit it to the nearest VA Regional Office.

For more information or to view Frequently Asked Questions please visit VOW To Hire Heroes Act or a Higher Education Veterans Programs Regional Coordinator.


Faribault County Veterans Services
435 S. Grove St.
Ag Center Plaza, Suite 1A
Blue Earth, MN 56013

Phone: 507-526-6268
Fax:     507-526-4593

Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM